Kitchen Design

How Much Should A Breakfast Bar Overhang?

A breakfast bar is one of the most stylish and practical features a kitchen can have. Now the key to having the perfect breakfast bar is getting its dimensions right, and among the most crucial measurements in its design is the overhang. So how much of an overhang do you need for your breakfast bar? We’ve done the research to find the answer for you.

The typical overhang for a breakfast bar is between 10 to 18 inches. This will ensure sufficient space for stools to be hidden away when you’re not using them, as well as adequate legroom to give your knees space to be tucked comfortably under the countertop. More overhang means more comfortable seating.

If you’re planning to have a breakfast bar in your kitchen, take note that there are quite a few factors you need to consider so it fits in seamlessly with your kitchen. Keep reading to find out more about the right dimensions for a breakfast bar, plus more information about this feature!

Modern kitchen interior with light coloured Scandinavian interior design - How Much Should A Breakfast Bar Overhang

How To Get The Right Overhang Size For Your Breakfast Bar

The comfort and function of your breakfast bar seating will depend on the size of the overhang. A too-short overhang will cause accidents like stubbed toes and spills, while a too-long overhang can make your kitchen look smaller.

Here are the steps to get the right measurements for your breakfast bar overhang:

1. Determine how much space you have in your kitchen

Contemporary modern cream colored luxury kitchen with fitted appliances and breakfast bar

It’s vital to know whether your kitchen can accommodate a larger overhang. If not, it might be best to go with a 10-inch overhang to create a functional seating area without taking up too much space.

However, this is up to your personal preference. If you do have a smaller kitchen but want more surface area for chopping, cooking, and other activities in the kitchen, you can still go with a lengthy overhang.

2. Consider the average height of family and guests

Got a lot of tall ones in the family? Consider a longer overhang! The minimum size of an overhang may not be enough to ensure the seating comfort of anyone on the taller side, so a larger overhang might provide more adequate room between the countertop and their knees.

Remember as well that people tend to rest their weight on the countertop while eating. Some may even sit atop your breakfast bar. So in this case, it’s ideal to have a longer overhang to offer support for extra weight.

3. Ensure proper access to drawers and other storage areas

Certain breakfast bars are designed to create more storage in the kitchen, so they might have drawers where you can stash away kitchen tools and tableware.

Your overhang should not be too large to make it difficult for you to reach into these areas wherever you need to, so it’s important to take this into consideration when planning for the size of your overhang.

4. Provide additional support when needed

The overhang of a laminate or quartz breakfast bar, even when extended, should be able to support itself. However, for heavier materials like granite, you might need to add additional support such as legs or brackets to hold up its weight.

Consider the bar height and width as well. If it’s small and narrow, then it may not be able to support a longer overhang without extra help. This could lead to serious damage, so it’s best to provide more support in this case.

Interior photography of a fresh white Hamptons style kitchen with breakfast bar, cross back bar stools, polished floor boards and a door way opening up to a back deck

Dimensions Of A Breakfast Bar

As a space for storage, food prep, and cozy family gatherings, a breakfast bar adds warmth and intimacy into your home while also increasing the space’s functionality. It’s important to have the optimal dimensions for it so you can enjoy maximum comfort and convenient use.

Keep in mind as well that your breakfast bar should fit in well with the rest of your kitchen. A breakfast bar that’s too small will be an awkward eyesore in a spacious kitchen, and one that’s too big will make it difficult for you to move around the space.

Here are the standard dimensions of a breakfast bar:


There are different sizes available for ready-made breakfast bars, ranging from 30 to 42 inches, although the latter is the standard size. The height of your breakfast bar should be suitable for your specific needs.

You can have it match the height of your existing counters if you want it to function as an extension of your kitchen island. This will increase the surface area you can use while cooking in the kitchen.

On the other hand, you can make your breakfast bar stand out as its own unique feature by choosing one a few inches shorter or taller than your counters.

A lower breakfast bar with around 30 to 36 inches of height is ideal for families with persons in wheelchairs and young kids, while a higher breakfast bar of 42 inches may be more suitable for families with elderly adults or people with disabilities that make getting up from a low chair difficult.

Stool Size

There should be around 10 to 12 inches of space between your stool and the bar top. So if your breakfast bar is 36-42 inches high, opt for a stool that’s around 24 to 26 inches tall. Counter stools are usually around this height.

Check out these counter stools on Amazon.

For breakfast bars at 40 to 42 inches high, get stools that are around 28 to 30 inches tall. Bar stools are often taller at around this height. 

Check out these bar stools on Amazon. 

Remember as well that there should be enough space for you to get in and out of the chair effortlessly, so you should have at least 18 inches between the bar and the back of the stool.

There should also be 18 inches of walking clearance space behind the chair so you can move comfortably around the kitchen without bumping into the people seated. 


A breakfast bar should be no more than 24 inches deep. This is a more hard-set rule compared to that of a breakfast bar’s height. Going over this dimension will make it harder for you to reach over the bar and take up too much space in your kitchen.

Modern kitchen interior with light coloured Scandinavian interior design

How do you style a breakfast bar?

It’s no secret that a breakfast bar is a fun and gorgeous addition to the kitchen in and of itself. But as with any feature in your home, it could always be better with a little sprucing up!

Here are a few ways to decorate your breakfast bar:

Paint it a lively color

It can be a bummer when the ready-made breakfast bar you purchased isn’t quite as perky as you need it to be. Painting it a fun color like yellow is one of the easiest ways to liven it up. Choosing a hue that’s distinct but complementary with the rest of your kitchen’s color palette can help bring more color and energy into the space.

Check out this yellow spray paint on Amazon.

Add flowers

Fresh or faux flowers always bring a touch of charm and vitality to any space, and your breakfast bar is no exception. Placing a bouquet or even a handful of blooms can make your space look refreshing and feel inviting.

Check out these silk flowers on Amazon.

Bring in captivating accents

Colorful bowls, fruit baskets, patterned pitchers, unique salt and pepper shakers, and scented candles are only a few of the many accents that can add personality into your breakfast bar!

Check out these salt and pepper shakers on Amazon.

Can I fit a breakfast bar in my kitchen?

Yes! You can fit a breakfast bar even in a modest-sized or narrow kitchen. All you have to do is adjust the measurements to fit your needs. For instance, you can add a small breakfast bar at the end of an L-shaped kitchen or bring in a round tabletop to the counter area in a galley kitchen.

Is a breakfast bar worth it?

Well, it depends on your needs and preferences, but many homeowners sing the praises of breakfast bars. This is because they offer additional space for working in the kitchen, making meal prep and cooking much easier. They also provide more storage where you can place items that don’t fit inside your cupboards or cabinets.

Best of all, they give you a place in your kitchen to share lovely meals with your family or spend quiet moments in the morning to get ready for the day.

Interior photography of a modern white kitchen with breakfast bar and stools, louvred windows looking out to a garden view

The Wrap-Up

Getting the ideal dimensions for your breakfast bar may be a little tedious, but doing this will ensure you make the most out of this addition to your kitchen. With the right size for your breakfast bar, you can have a brand-new beautiful and functional dining spot!

For more kitchen design ideas, check out these helpful posts:

What Color Hardware For White Kitchen Cabinets?

What Color Cabinets With Black Granite Countertops [11 Ideas!]